Thursday, June 27, 2013

Distractive Change

Our lives are constantly changing. There’s a natural ebb and flow to every moment. At moments, we can make decisions where this natural state of change becomes evident. In these decisive moments we can become distracted easily. When we begin making decisions about our lives, we need to be mindful of the distractions these decisions can create. These distractions have the capacity to increase our ignorance, but we can, instead, use them to open up our awareness and expand our presence.

The distraction of change is simple to understand. When we make major changes in our life, nearly every aspect of our life is impacted. These changes can be mental, emotional and even physical distractions. If we are not careful, the distraction of change can mask our thoughts and feelings of not only these changes but also of ourselves. This aspect of the distraction of change is a distraction some people seek out and others avoid.

For those who seek out the distraction of change, often it’s about masking thoughts and feelings about the self. These thoughts and feelings are often overpowering for these seekers. For the seekers of distraction, there can be no sustaining happiness. Once seekers find a moment of happiness, it almost immediately becomes uncomfortable. The “sources” of this discomfort are misplaced onto conditions as opposed to the discomfort with ourselves.

Others attempt to avoid the distractions of change. Those who avoid change by choice do not want to challenge the status quo. There may not even be happiness within the present structure of life, but to make a choice to do something different places the onus back on the self. Those who avoid change neither embrace reality nor the personal power of choice. To make a different choice gives them ownership over any future results. This empowerment is something that many wish to avoid and has a similar energy to playing the role of the victim. As long as someone else is making decisions, it’s not our fault.

The explorer nature to change in life can be powerful. Whenever we actualize power in our lives, constructive and destructive energies are both possible simultaneously. These are experienced as loss and gain. The distraction of loss is not as simple as loss of material belongings. This loss could even be loss of loneliness or hopelessness or even loss of happiness or joy. Whenever there is change we are potentially losing something. We could even be losing the absence of something. This loss can be a source of distraction. There could be elation or even euphoria if we’re losing something that we want to lose. We could also experience depression or even sadness. Sometimes, we experience all of these nearly simultaneously.

The distraction of gain is similar to that of loss. It can be the gain of material belongings, but more than that it involves the gain of an idea or even an ideal. This can be a relationship, a living situation, a job, a religion or even a new church. Or, it could be the gain of something far more subtle. It’s similar to the distraction of a new toy for a child. It’s new, it’s shiny; it’s something to play with, not so much to understand. In a new job or a new relationship, it can be that shiny toy aspect we experience, not so much the actual job or relationship we’ve gained. Any relief that is felt may not be actually from the job or the relationship, but from the distraction of gain. At some point, as with the shiny new toy in the hands of a child, the newness wears off.

The difference between genuine exploration and distraction of gain can be subtle. When something is gained in life, there are countless aspects of the object to explore and acquire. These aspects go far beyond the simple physical characteristics but also the mental, emotional and even spiritual elements or meanings of what has been gained. Regardless of our intention, we can get lost in the sheer volume of new data and experiential information.

It can be extremely difficult to maintain presence when new variables are being repeatedly introduced and altered. This is the distraction of distraction. This is the person that goes from object to object, situation to situation nearly seamlessly. There has to be a constant stream of forced or directed change. Watching a channel dedicated to commercials selling goods is the embodiment of the distraction of distraction. The goal here is to constantly have something outside of the self to focus the mind upon, anything to avoid focusing on the mind and the life itself. The internal states of being are almost ignored with this extremely distracted mind. Daily living becomes a constantly revolving door.

In all of these distractive moments, our presence can increase and awareness can open as opposed to become more limited and closed. It can be too easy to become lost in a sea of new information, new experiences and new dynamics. When we orient our mind toward acquiring this information and being open to new experiences and learning about our role in the new dynamics, we take ownership of our life, our living and actualize our personal power in this new environment. We learn to see the role we play in cause and effect in our lives. We are the cause and our daily life is the effect.

We can hold back from making decisions that fundamentally change our lives, hoping to avoid culpability. Or, we can constantly change what we’re doing, never being present or aware enough to see the consequences of those changes. The key is to strike the right balance and to constantly reacquire that balance. We can dramatically change our lives at any time by simply changing the way our minds and bodies interact with our current existence. In fact, by focusing on being more present and more aware, we can discover simple ways to change our lives. Often, we’re missing countless opportunities to better not only our lives but the lives of others. Only by expanding our presence and awareness in the present moment can we more clearly see what we can do, what we should do and what we need to do.

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Other Ridding of Ignorance Articles  About Distraction and Change
Our Mind, the Distracted Runaway
Transforming Home into Healing
Expanding Awareness, From the Source of Hope and Dream

Friday, June 7, 2013

In-between Hysterical Action, the Lax and the Lazy

Hysteria is possible in any moment. Hysterics expend mental, emotional and physical energy. Hysterics are also a distraction from the present moment. Often, hysterics is an extreme version of empty action, or worse, destructive action. There may not even be an objective for all this activity. There is a level of discomfort with the present and with our presence that generates the energy of hysterical action.

It is crucial here to not get caught up in labels. Most of us exhibit some level of hysterical action, and there are so many subtle ways this energy is dissipated. There are countless channels on cable or satellite, multiple updates to social media and our constant contact with our cell phones. There are an infinite array and degrees of hysterical action. There are even physical ways we dissipate this hysterical energy. We remain busy at home, sometimes unaware of what we’re doing or what we’ve already done. Hysterical energy helps us avoid being present.

Laxity and laziness can masquerade as being present as well. Understanding the difference between hysterical activities and laxity or laziness is difficult. Sometimes, we need to be active at home. There are activities that we need to do every day, and it can be easy to not expend any energy in maintaining our daily lives. Laxity and laziness are hallmarks of not being present or aware, just like hysterical action. There is a level of giving up on life when laxity and laziness takeover.

Sometimes, people think a lax or lazy person is doing nothing, but this is not the case. We are being lax or lazy when the mind, heart and spirit are not just taking a vacation; instead, the saying “why bother?” applies. The lax and lazy mind has learned a dangerous lesson. The lax and the lazy feel disenfranchised and not empowered. The potential in every moment is lost on those embodying this energy. Being lax and lazy is the absence of presence and having no engagement with the day.

Being lax or lazy has nothing to do with doing nothing. Doing nothing at all is something we should do daily, and we should do nothing with our entire presence and awareness. That is how we avoid laxity and laziness. We must focus our mind, heart and spirit completely on doing nothing if that’s what we’re doing. The act of doing nothing can be a very powerful and transformative experience.

We must also focus our mind, heart and spirit on anything we are doing. This is how we connect cause and effect, action and reaction in our daily lives. This is how we become more effective and efficient. If we’re not focusing our minds, heart and spirit in everything we’re doing, we’re missing countless opportunities for growth and transformation. This is not hysterical action; this is action infused with presence and awareness.

In examining both hysterical actions and laxity-laziness from a great distance, both are two sides of the same coin, “why bother?” buttressed with “nothing substantial going on here.” In anything we do and in doing nothing at all, we need to apply our mind, heart and spirit completely. This is the option of being present and maintaining our awareness. As we learn to apply ourselves completely, our lives grow and transform. As we begin to infuse our day with presence and awareness, we begin making a difference not only in our own lives, but in the lives of all we encounter. 

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